Joanna – This Crazy Life

Artist: Joanna
Title: This Crazy Life
Label: Geffen
Rating: 4/10

CORPORATE LINE: Powerful is the first word that comes to mind when describing Joanna’s voice. The next thing that enters your mind is “Where is it coming from?” These words are all too familiar to Joanna who is petite in stature but can make the hair on your arms rise with her vocal ability. “I always had a voice that was much bigger than I was!” says Joanna. Joanna was born in Philadelphia and spent her early years performing for customers in her father’s barbershop. She called it her “Saturday Gig” and enjoyed the praise (and tips) that would come her way. Her powerful voice led her to numerous musical theatre roles. Her lead role in the 20th Anniversary National Tour of “Annie” was highly publicized. “Looking back on all of my theatre experiences, I have great memories but I think it only made me realize that it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” At the age of 16, Joanna was signed to A&M Records by its President, Ron Fair. “I knew of Ron from the work he had done with Christina Aguilera, he has a reputation in the industry as being one of the best and being signed by him is a dream come true.” Joanna has spent the last 3 years developing her sound, writing material for her album, and performing shows at various LA venues. She was even the subject of an MTV “True Life” documentary in which they followed the first year of a Recording Artist. “I am so fortunate to have had this time to allow myself to grow as an Artist as well as a person. It is really important to me that I am seen as a credible. I have worked hard and my music has come so far. I am so anxious to share it with the world.”

“Let It Slide” – A big, lush chorus crashes in an attempt at being Celine Dion without the monster voice to go along with it. Joanna might be lucky enough to score a hit single.

“Ultraviolet” – This has a more a Kelly Clarkson vibe as the rock chorus crashes in amidst subtle verses that stir no emotion.
“Broken” – How many songs have been released with this similar song title and about the same subject matter—which is nothing more than being emotionally broken?
“Screaming Infidelities” – Even the cover of Dashboard Confessional’s wonderful track is handled too gently here. The lack of spirit and drive makes the song DOA.

“4th Of July” – Is it rock or is it pop? Not even Kelly Clarkson could save this painful song.

FRANKLY: Joanna has a beautiful voice—there is no doubt. If it weren’t for her being featured on MTV’s “True Life” this album would be dead on arrival. Joanna is not the kind of artist that will blow up the charts and any sales will undoubtedly be credited to MTV. Unfortunately, Joanna wasn’t given great songs to let what might have been a much better freshman album. As it is This Crazy Life is painfully sub-par.

+ Rae Gun

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